18:57 GMT23 January 2021
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    MOSCOW, (Sputnik) - The recently-signed agreement on normalization of relations between Morocco and Israel points to the latter's pursuit to anchor itself in Northern Africa, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad said on Saturday.

    Morocco and Israel agreed to establish formal diplomatic relations this past Thursday, as announced by US President Donald Trump. As part of the deal, the United States agreed to recognize Morocco's sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region.

    "[Israel's] intention and desire to establish presence near our borders grows more obvious. Today it has become a proven reality," Djerad said at a history conference in Algiers, as quoted by Algerian news agency La Patrie.

    Opining that Algeria was facing threats both from inside and outside, the prime minister urged citizens to "stand up to multiple dangers facing our country," as quoted in the report.

    Djerad spoke at a conference commemorating the 1960 decolonization demonstrations in Algiers that had led to independence from France.

    Morocco became the fourth Arab country to normalize relations with Israel in four months following Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan. All of these deals were brokered by the US. All of them triggered an outcry in Palestine and those of Arab states which have a more uncompromising stance on the 1967 Khartoum Resolutions on maintaining a collective boycott of Israel until the Palestinian issue is resolved.

    In this Dec. 7, 2020 photo President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump has announced that Israel and Morocco will normalize relations in the latest achievement of his administration's press to push Arab-Israeli peace.
    © REUTERS / Patrick Semansky
    In this Dec. 7, 2020 photo President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump has announced that Israel and Morocco will normalize relations in the latest achievement of his administration's press to push Arab-Israeli peace.

    The recognition of Morocco's sovereignty over Western Sahara was is believed to be an important factor of the deal, given the escalation in the region over the past several weeks.

    Western Sahara used to be a Spanish colony in Africa's northwest before it was partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in 1975. A pro-independence regional administration known as the Polisario Front rejected Rabat's sovereignty and established a self-proclaimed state of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in the region's Moroccan segment in 1976.

    Morocco and the SADR waged war, and it was not until 1991 that they agreed to a ceasefire, with the United Nations establishing a mission to monitor the truce. Armed hostilities resumed this November in the SADR-controlled buffer zone named Guerguerat.

    The SADR has so far been recognized by 84 UN member states.

    Tags:
    Western Sahara, diplomatic relations, Algeria, Morocco
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